June 4, 2023

Four councilors have called on the City Mayor’s Office to implement Ordinance 95, s. 2009, which mandates the creation of the Baguio City Livelihood Employment and Cooperatives Office (BCLECO).

Councilors Arthur Allad-iw, Fred Bagbagen, Levy Lloyd Orcales, and Philian Louise Weygan-Allan in a resolution sought the prompt implementation of the ordinance as they believe the creation of the office will de-load government departments handling programs and projects supposedly to be undertaken by the BCLECO.

The office is tasked to expedite the promulgation and approval of the rules and regulations to implement the integrated programs in livelihood, employment, and cooperatives as provided for in Ordinance 66-2009 (Providing for Cooperatives and Livelihood Assistance Fund); expediting the formation of new and additional cooperatives; propose and carry out measures and programs designed to strengthen and reinvigorate existing and operating cooperatives; and design plans and programs in livelihood projects or micro-enterprises.

The councilors said in the absence of the BCLECO, these tasks and functions are temporarily entrusted to the Special Services Division of the City Mayor’s Office with the Community Development Officer III assuming the responsibilities of the City Livelihood Employment and Cooperatives Development Officer.

There are also measures enacted by the sangguniang panlungsod and the Baguio City Development Council that have not yet been fully realized due to the absence of a city cooperative development officer who will supposedly serve as the implementing arm, the councilors added.

They noted the comment of the Cooperative Development Authority indicated in the legislative tracking and evaluation status report that BCLECO is essential as it will focus on the development of cooperatives as stipulated under the CDA and the Department of the Interior and Local Government Joint Memorandum Circular 2019-01.

According to the city officials, the city government is not included as a possible candidate to the Gawad Parangal for Local Government Units-Cooperative Development because it has not formally organized, established, or created a cooperative development office.

The Gawad Parangal is one of the flagship programs of the CDA that “recognizes cooperatives and cooperative development partners that have exhibited exemplary performance in its governance, financial performance, and social relevance to their members and the community.” – Jordan G. Habbiling